Tennessee Supreme Court retention vote heats up - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tennessee Supreme Court retention vote heats up

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Voters will decide Thursday whether to retain or replace three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices who are up for a retention vote.

The fight for the bench has been fierce, and in one election officials said a crime has been committed.

A new complaint by the Stewart County Election Commission claims the three justices are breaking state campaign laws.

Voters have likely seen the campaign ads. One paid for by an opposition group called Tennessee Forum asks voters to replace state Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Gary Wade and Sharon Lee.

Another ad asks voters to "vote to retain Justices Clark, Lee and Wade, and keep politics out of Tennessee courts." This ad was paid for by Keep Tennessee Courts Fair, a group funded by the three justices' campaign that wants voters to retain them.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, the group and two of the justices up for the retention vote fired back at what they called false and negative allegations made against them, including helping to advance the Affordable Health Care Act and accuses them of being "liberal on crime."

Tuesday, the Tennessee Forum said a recent complaint filed by the Stewart County Election Commission claims the three justices are breaking state campaign laws.

This retention vote is so controversial because the three justices were appointed by former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's political action committee has donated more than $420,000 to Tennessee Forum. Ramsey also shared a video on his Facebook page asking voters to replace the judges on Thursday.

According to the video, Republicans like Ramsey want Gov. Bill Haslam to be able to appoint conservative, Republican judges to the court. Then the judges can appoint a new state attorney general. Republicans want that attorney general to also be conservative.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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